Saturday 15 February 2014
Angry Mum Phones Driving Instructor.
I got a surprise phone call from an angry mum the other day. Not the first parent to micro manage their almost grown up child I'm sure. She was concerned that in teaching her daughter to drive I had destroyed her confidence by making her aware of the very real risks her driving posed to her own safety and the safety of others.
The lady concerned believed that my telling her daughter that late signals and braking would eventually result in someone running into the back of her car was not appropriate. I say that it was. If a learner driver is not made aware that their driving is potentially dangerous then what real motivation do they have to change? Late braking is a major cause of rear end shunts and shows poor planning and concentration. As a parent I would certainly want my children to be taught to drive properly and be prepared for a lifetime of driving. I know my kids will because I will be teaching them. Ha.
After failing a driving test and with another booked for a few weeks time I made my pupil aware of the number of serious faults she was making. Angry mum did not like this one bit. She told me her daughter was capable of taking the test. Thought I might have a bit more knowledge about this but angry mum seemed certain. There is no way to argue this point so after being super polite on the phone I just let it go.
After 40 hours with another instructor the pupil in question had a very simplistic approach to driving. There's more to it than the basics. When teaching about hazard awareness and responsibility there is plenty of scope for disagreement and opinion. When a pupil gives an opinion I love it. It's a chance to talk and make sure some real learning takes place. An angry parent getting all upset about what she thinks happened days after the fact doesn't help anybody. I'm always nice to my pupils me. If I need to talk a few home truths now and then I'm just doing the job I'm paid to do. Let's keep it safe out there.
Who's my friendly local driving instructor in Nottingham?